The Real United Methodist Crisis: Loss of U.S. Political Power to the Growing Church in Africa



Comments (2)

Comment Feed

Equal Representation

It is nothing less than shameful that we do not give equal representation to our African brothers and sisters. Their bishops should represent on average the same number of members as American bishops. Their annual conferences should have equal representation of delegates at all conferences and on all boards. Pay and financing for bishops should be equal too. I was part of a group that was asked to evaluate the new social principles. My sub group was asked to evaluate how people in other parts of the world would view the proposed principles. As a white American how am I to know how Africans view the changes. Had their been representation on the committee drawing them up then they would have known what the Africans thought. Africans represent 38% of our church but make up only a fraction of the members on any of the boards of our agencies. They should represent 40% of any committee. Who cares what country people are from. Our church should fairly be run by people from all of our member nations. We shamefully treat Africans like we treated black Americans in the old central conference. I have one disagreement with this article however. Traditionalists by and large are very supportive of our African brothers who share mostly a common theology with us. If anyone is blocking them in equal representation it is the progressives. I hope everyone will support a resolution to GC 2020 that calls for African and Asian equality on all boards and in number of bishops.

Scott more than 1 year ago


Scott, I agree with all you've said. That our brothers and sisters from Africa (and other central conferences, most of which are growing) are so drastically underrepresented in global boards and agencies, episcopal leadership, and general conference representation is embarrassing and reprehensible. We know of one bishop who's dismissed the generally traditional theology of the African conferences by wishing "they'd just grow up." For three quadrennia I've listened to progressive voices resist giving greater decision-making voice to our African brothers and sisters for fear of losing tightly-held control, often rationalized with arguments that the larger financial contributions from North America should provide a concomitantly larger voice. A paternalistic cultural imperialism intent on "civilizing" the African church is pervasive among so many who claim to be "open minded." Likewise, many of the calls by self-described liberals or progressives for a global reorganization that permits "contextualization" is merely Orwellian doublespeak for a movement to isolate the U.S. portion of the church from the oversight of a worldwide church whose center of population (and theology) is found in the Global South. Kipling's "White Man's Burden" persists.

John more than 1 year ago

Notable Quotes      

"We've reached the point in the fight against coronavirus, this awful and unseen enemy, that lays bare the truth that the evangelists of self-sufficiency and libertarian excess bow before a false god. May the lesson be indelibly inscribed on the minds of the generations soon to move into positions of leadership. We need one another."    – National Catholic Reporter editorial, March 24, 2020

We Invite Your Support to Cover
A New Era 

     The year 2020 bodes to be a momentous time in United Methodist history. United Methodist Insight invites your financial support to bring you news and views on events.

     TEXT your contribution to 84-321 with "(amt) Insight" via your smartphone or go to Your additional contribution of the 2.2 processing fee will make your donation go farther. Make checks payable to our sponsoring congregation, St. Stephen UMC, and write "UM Insight" on the memo line. Then mail to United Methodist Insight, c/o St. Stephen United Methodist Church, 2520 Oates Drive, Mesquite, TX 75150.